by Chris Bodenner
Michael Wilkerson reminds us that the conviction of al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, was questionable from the start, and that his pending appeal - nixed upon his release - actually had a chance of succeeding. He also points to an "astute, if impolitic" assessment by Glen Newey:
It served nobody’s interests to have the Lockerbie bombing conviction debated in open court. Hence the great good fortune of al-Megrahi’s terminal prostate cancer, which sped his release from Greenock. With a compassionate’ wave of the biro, the [Scottish National Party] administration has rid itself of a high-profile prisoner with an unsafe conviction and enhanced, or created, its international profile. The UK government can keep in with the Libyans and protect its commercial contracts, on the plea of respecting devolved powers. [...] It’s almost enough to make one believe in divine providence.
Wilkerson adds another whiff of intrigue:
To be clear, it is unlikely officials could fake the cancer diagnosis and Al-Megrahi does not look very well in the photos of his departure from Scotland. But well, who knows? Maybe he'll make a miraculous recovery at home in Libya.